Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Life Hacks: The toddler edition

Every Mom to a child over the age of 1 can agree, toddlers are a rare breed of human. They have the amazing ability to say so much without uttering a single, cohesive word. They command every second of our attention due to their unpredictability and infatuation with light sockets and oven doors. They possess detective-like skills that capitalize on our every weakness and have the uncanny ability to find that marker that has been under your couch for 7 months or that package of wipes accidentally left within arms reach. They operate purely on emotion and hunger and drive us to the brink of insanity just before flashing a toothy smile that leaves us breathless and wanting to kiss their faces off. In short, they run the world and were just lucky to be on the sidelines handing out juice boxes.

Here are 7 tried and true life hacks that all toddlers have perfected and we adults secretly wish we could pull off:
Stop. Lock. Drop.
Manage to get your hands on a forbidden object like the tv remote or Mommy's cell phone? Stop dead in your tracks at the sound of your name. Stare Mommy dead in the eyes. Contemplate next move. Ignore her pleas to 'put it down please'. Drop forbidden object to the floor with a bang. Stare.

Do the wiggle.
Time to get shoes on or Mommy says it's pajama time? Wiggle. Wiggle so hard your Mommy's arms start to ache and she contemplates running away and taking up MMA fighting. Go limp in between wiggles. Toss head back and connect with Mommy's face for good measure.

Fake temporary paralysis. 
Hear a sense of urgency in Mommy's voice? Maybe it's time to get dressed or eat lunch or get to your older siblings to school drop off. Sit down. Stare at the floor. Ignore annoyed human as she calls your name repeatedly. Lay down and pretend your legs and ears are broken. 

Confronted with a well-meaning and overly enthusiastic strange human? Hide. Burrow your face so deep in Mommy's shoulder you might become permanently attached to her. Leave Mommy to awkwardly laugh at the strange human talking in a high pitched voice trying to get a smile out of you. You're above all that nonsense.

Mix it up.
Consistency is boring. Just because you've eaten strawberries every single day for the last 3 weeks does not mean you like them today. Keep things interesting and your parents guessing by refusing the things you loved yesterday and loving the things you hated a few days ago. There is power in having the final say; capitalize on it.

Master the Peaceful Pouty Protest.
Is it nap time, or even worse, bedtime? By now your energy levels are running low making this the perfect time to peacefully protest. Don't yell. Don't scream. Just stand quietly, pout your lips, puff out your cheeks, and refuse to acknowledge tall humans or make eye contact with them. By now you've figured out they've read all the books that told them you need to lay down on your own; make the most of it. Drag this moment out. Take a sudden interest in your hands. Maintain pouty face.

Relent; Just Enough.
Time to shut it down; even the strongest need their rest. Now is the time to indulge the tall humans in their incessant need to squeeze you and kiss you a thousand times before shutting off the light. Stare blankly into space as they gush over you and ramble on and on about how sweet and beautiful and perfect you are. Sit up for one final hug, lightly pat Mommy on the back, send her heart soaring and leave her thinking she's won the battle; you know tomorrow is a new day and you will ultimately win the war.

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Scary Mommy